Do You Need a Driving Contract with your Teen?

Teen Driving Contract

Do Parents Need A Teen Driving Contract?


Prior to our first son turning 16, our insurance company sent us a driving contract for us to execute with him before we let him loose on the streets. It had not occurred to us to have a contract with our son covering our expectations of him in order to have the privilege of driving. The more my husband and I read the contract and thought about this new privilege, the more we were convinced we did need to make a written contract with him. What do you think? Do Parents Need A Teen Driving Contract ?

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Do You Need a Driving Contract with your Teen? 1

Do Parents Need a Teen Driving Contract?


We decided we did need teen driving contracts. These are the reasons.

·      Driving is a potentially dangerous activity with adult responsibilities and consequences. The privilege should not be given or taken lightly.

·      Driving is not free. We needed a clear understanding between us of what costs we planned to cover and what costs he was expected to cover.

·      A vehicle requires maintenance. We wanted him to understand what our expectations were regarding maintaining his vehicle.

·      Allowing another to ride in your vehicle involves assumption of liability for that passenger’s safety.

·      The signing of the contract ceremonially hands over the keys. It emphasizes the seriousness of the new endeavor.

·      It has become a fun family tradition for us to take our new driver out for dinner and sign it with him. (Have the ceremony a few days before the driver’s test. Once they get that license it will be hard to keep their attention.)

The contract provided by the insurance company was a start for the contract we wrote. Their contract did not completely cover every point we wanted to emphasize and some of their contract was not relevant to our family.

This is the Teen Driving contract we wrote:

Teen Driving Contract

Between ___(mom)___, _____(Dad)___ and ___(teen)__

 Understand that it is only because we love you and are concerned for your safety and the safety of others that we ask you to enter into this agreement with us. We are extremely proud of you and are excited for you as you take on this very adult responsibility.

I, ___(teen)________, promise to NEVER:

·      Text while driving. Ever.

·      Drive without wearing my seatbelt and I will require all my passengers to wear theirs.

·      Ride in a vehicle where the driver has consumed alcohol or illegal substances or prescription drugs that are not theirs.

·      Use my cell phone for any purpose while driving. If I need to make a call, I will pull over. I will not answer my cell phone while driving.

·      Engage in distracting behaviors, like eating, grooming, or adjusting the radio/cell phone music while driving.

·      Drive with more passengers than allowed by law.

·      Drive someone else’s vehicle or allow someone to drive mine unless it is an absolute emergency. (If possible at all, call Mom or Dad first.)

 I, ___(teen)_________, promise to:

·      Abide by all traffic laws and signs.

·      Check and adjust my seat, rearview, and side mirrors before driving.

·      Take proper care of my vehicle, which includes:

            Maintaining a least a quarter tank of gas at all times.

            Changing the oil at the proper intervals.

            Notifying Mom or Dad immediately if any warning lights appear.

            Keeping the vehicle clean inside and out.

·      Accept the adult consequences for any mistakes I may make while driving. Adult responsibilities come with adult consequences. Excuses will not change the consequences. All traffic tickets or damages caused by me to any vehicle I am driving and damages to any property belonging to someone else is my sole responsibility. This responsibility includes any increase in insurance costs caused by a mistake on my part. 

·      Be willing to (and with a good attitude) help my family by driving __(siblings)__ to activities or running errands for my family when asked.

 Temporary restrictions (Mom and Dad will sign off on these when they feel they are no longer necessary.)

·      I will text Mom or Dad my location and driving intentions. Mom and Dad need to know where I am and my vehicle are at all times. (e.g. Text when I arrive at and leave school, text when I leave one location and go to another.)

·      I will not enter any highway system without specific permission from Mom or Dad. (A highway is any road with on/off ramps, speeds limits over 50 mph, no stoplights, etc.)

 I, ______(teen)__________, understand that the consumption or use of alcohol, illegal substances, tobacco, or prescription drugs that are not prescribed for me will result in the immediate revocation of my driving privileges, as well as other consequences that are deemed necessary. I, __________(teen)_____, also understand that driving is a privilege and that none of the cars owned by our family fully belongs to me. This contract is not to be considered an exhaustive list of every responsibility and may be updated or amended as necessary.


We, ___(Mom and Dad)_____, agree to allow ________(teen)_________ to have the privilege of driving under the agreement stated in this contract!


Signed and dated,

 ________________________________________________________                              _________________________

 ________________________________________________________                              _________________________

________________________________________________________                               _________________________


What do you think? Do Parents Need a Driving Contract With Their Teens? Do you have or plan to have a teen driving contract?

Check out USAA for more tips for Building Safe Driving Habits and a Printable Teen Safe Driving Checklist and Parenting High Schoolers has an awesome post on Preparing an Emergency Kit for your Teen's Car.


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I’m Laura

Welcome to Almost Empty Nest! I began this blog in September 2014 after leaving my oldest son at college and realizing that my nest was emptying. Join me on this journey as we explore the path of guiding our children to adulthood and rediscovering ourselves beyond the mom years.


  1. Filing this away for use down the road. My princess is only 2, but I’m sure it comes far too fast!

  2. This is a great idea! I have a 15 year old that is not really interested in driving yet, but when he’s ready we will definitely have him sign some kind of contract.

  3. I have a few thoughts on this – first off, I like your tradition of going out for dinner to “negotiate”. That sounds nice! With that being said, I wonder how much that really comes to play when a teen is sitting at the wheel knowing they could text if they wanted. For me, it was watching anti-texting documentaries that really impacted me. Not my parents telling me not to text lol.

    • There is also a fair amount of prayer involved?. As a parent all you can do is lay out the expectations, pray they listen and if they don’t that the consequences can be recovered from. They do see videos in driver’s ed and a judge comes and holds court at school and they actually see kids sentenced for their errors. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Thank you so much for your input.

  4. We never wrote anything down with our teenagers. We did sit down and go over the rules and what was expected.

  5. I love this idea! I think your kids starting to drive is one of the scariest things you face as a parent. Aye aye aye!

  6. Interesting but don’t have a teenager.

  7. This is a wonderful idea! I will keep this in mind when my kids drive.

  8. Wow , as a parent sometimes you really need to be very patient negotiator, more power to all the parents raising teenager

  9. This is a new fun thing. Parents should enforce it with their children

  10. This is fabulous! Mine is only 12, but it will be time for this before I know it! Such a great idea!

  11. Excellent idea. I’ll keep this in mind for when my kids are older.

  12. Love this idea. My mom and I had a verbal contract when I started driving (and when my friends started driving as well).

  13. Interesting way to go about teaching responsibility to teen drivers. My oldest son is 16 and he is not driving yet. I am actually really scared about him driving. Where did the time go?! Lol!

  14. This is such a wonderful idea! I think kids growing up in this day and age are at risk more than before what with technology use and so and so forth! This is a great way to educate your child and also give them something to think twice about.

  15. Great idea to ensure your children abide by safe driving principles and habits. I will show this to my friends who have children approaching the driving age!

  16. Don’t know that the actual written contract is necessary, but I love that you had a formal discussion of rules and expectations for driving BEFORE your teen had a license.

  17. A driving contract is an interesting idea! Will keep that in mind.

  18. Such a good idea!

  19. This is a very interesting Idea

  20. This is such an awesome idea! I’ve still got 7 years before my oldest will be driving age but this is so helpful!!!

  21. I have one child that has a driver’s license and it can be really stressful. I like the idea of a written contract and think I’ll adopt a version for the next 3 drivers coming up the line in our family!


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